New Delhi: After 16 teams relentlessly fighting for 21 days across 40 matches in ICC U19 World Cup 2024, things have been narrowed down to the epic final between India and Australia as the Boys in Blue aim for their record-extending sixth title win while the little Kangaroos eye a fourth win of the elite trophy. The match will be played at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni.
The outing marks another chapter in the recent history of these two cricketing nations as their senior sides battled in momentous finals last year at both the World Test Championship Final and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. It is noteworthy that both sides have been on a fantastic run in the mega-event, maintaining unbeaten streaks as they head into the final.
The Australian side fought hard and made some close calls fall in their favor to set up a final against India being one step closer to glory. So here’s a look back at Australia’s route to the epic finale.
Australia’s path to blockbuster final
Australia beat Namibia by 4 wickets
The Aussies faced Namibia in their World Cup opener in Kimberley where Callum Vidler’s four-fer and Tom Straker’s three wickets bundled Namibia out for just 91 runs. What looked like a piece of cake to Australia came straight to their faces as Jack Brassell’s impressive bowling turned the game upside down. Australia were crawling at 57/5 as dark clouds of a defeat loomed over them but skipper Hugh Weibgen alongside Raf MacMillan made sure the team sailed through for a win.
Australia beat Zimbabwe by 225 runs
Australia made an equally opposite outing against Zimbabwe in their next one as they dominated the opponents with a massive win. The batters struck the Zimbabwean bowlers hard with Harry Dixon and Hugh Weibgen registering respective fifties. Australia put a challenging total of 296 runs at the cost of seven wickets. Their bowlers dismantled Zimbabwe for a paltry 71 as Harkirat Bajwa was the destroyer-in-chief bagging 4/15 figures.
Australia beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets
Callum Vidler yet again starred taking early two wickets against the Lankan boys as Dinura Kalupahana’s 64 helped Sri Lanka post a competitive total of 208 runs. Australia were off to a brisk start with a 71-run opening stand and Ryan Hicks carried the momentum ahead hitting an unbeaten 77 to guide Australia to victory, which booked them a Super Six stage seat.
Super Six Stage
Australia beat England by 110 runs (DLS method)
Australia kickstarted their Super Six stage with a thumping victory over arch-rivals England. Hugh Weibgen was at it again playing a heroic skipper’s knock smashing a ton. He nearly spent the entire innings steadily on the crease and formed crucial partnerships with the middle to take Australia to a total of 266/6. Callum Vidler starred again bagging four wickets in the powerplay after which their was a rain interruption. England got a revised target of 214 off 24 overs but were bundled out for a paltry of 104.
Australia vs West Indies ended in No Result
The clash against the Carribeans was called off due to persistent rain in what was a virtual knockout battle. The Weibgen-led side secured themselves a semi-final spot as points were shared by each of them in Kimberley. It was San Konstas who emerged as the lone warrior for Australia hitting 108 runs and guiding his side to 227 runs. West Indies turned to bat but it started downpuring when West Indies at 24/2 and no further play was possible.
Australia beat Pakistan by 1 wicket
The epic second semifinal between the Yellows and the Greens will be remembered forever in times to come. Tom Straker’s brilliant six-wicket haul crumbled Pakistan’s batting order but Azan Awais and Arafat Minhas resuscitated their side with respective fifties to put up 179 on board. It looked like a routine chase for Australia as the openers stitched a 33-run stand in no time until 15-year-old Ali Raza wreaked havoc.
Harry Dixon smashed a fifty from the top and Oliver Peake and Tom Campbell posed a major threat to Pakistan but soon found themselves at 164/9. The game already was a nail-biter until it all ended with an inside edge off Raf MacMillan’s bat that sailed for a four as the Australian dugout erupted in elation, having set up a final against India.
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